« Ind. Law - On Friday, future of U.S. Constitution at Indiana University symposium in Bloomington | Main | Ind. Decisions - Still more on: En banc 7th Circuit reverses Hively v. Ivy Tech »

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ind. Gov't. - "Controversial bill to cut solar incentive heads to Gov. Eric Holcomb's desk"

That is the headline to Stephanie Wang's story this morning in the Indianapolis Star. Some quotes:

One of the most heated, most talked-about pieces of legislation this year imposes new regulations on the small but burgeoning niche of renewable energy producers — while benefiting big utility companies.

With a 37-11 vote Monday, the Indiana Senate sent Senate Bill 309 to Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Holcomb's office declined to comment on his stance, but a spokeswoman said he has been watching the legislation.

The legislation reduces the rate that utility companies pay for excess energy that homeowners, schools and small businesses with solar panels or wind turbines sell back to the grid, an exchange known as net metering. * * *

The original proposal had sought to eliminate net metering credits, which would require homeowners to sell their energy to the grid and buy back what they needed. But lawmakers amended it to expand the cap on net metering but provide a smaller financial incentive, postponing the rate change for existing customers, those who install renewable energy technology by the end of the year, and those who might buy those participating properties before the grandfathering provision ends.

Supporters and opponents bickered over "misconceptions" of the proposal, unable to agree, for example, on whether other utility customers shoulder the price of net metering (as utility companies argue), or whether the legislation will encourage or discourage solar energy in the state.

"The bill recognizes solar is an increasingly competitive means of generation," said state Sen. Brent Hershman, R-Buck Creek, who authored SB 309.

The Senate yesterday concurred in House amendments, so this March 31st printing is the final version; it will be enrolled before sending to the governor.

For background, start with this ILB post from March 23rd.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 11, 2017 10:46 AM
Posted to Indiana Government